Alternative Names

Three day measles; German measles

Definition of Rubella

Rubella is a contagious infection in which there is a rash on the skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The disease is caused by a virus that is spread through the air or by close contact.


Children generally have few symptoms. Adults may experience a fever, headache, general discomfort (malaise), and a runny nose before the rash appears. They may not notice the symptoms.


There is no treatment for this disease.

Expectations (prognosis)

Rubella is usually a mild infection.


Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/14/2009

Rubella on an infant

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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